Uri Geller, who became famous for his ability to bend cutlery with what he calls "paranormal'' powers, was among the last buyers at an auction of furnishings in London's Savoy Hotel that raised 1.9 million pounds ($3.8 million).
Geller last night spent 1,020 pounds with saleroom commissions on three lots, each containing approximately 50 spoons with an estimate of 50-70 pounds.
Bonhams said the three-day sale's total, with commissions, almost doubled the presale mid-estimate of 1 million pounds.
"I'm 61 today. That's why I'm treating myself,'' said Geller, who bent and signed a number of other spoons for admirers during the evening. "Look after this. They fetch three thousand pounds on EBay,'' he said to a Bonhams staff member as a freshly bent spoon continued to curl in the palm of his hand.
One of the spoons he bought at the Savoy will be incorporated in the cutlery-encrusted bodywork of the 1976 Cadillac he keeps at his house in Berkshire. The rest will be auctioned for children's charities, said Geller.
A team of 13 auctioneers worked for more than 10 hours a day to sell all 2,600 lots, plus a further 100 late entries. Every item found a buyer.
Most of the furniture from the Savoy's public areas and 215 bedrooms and suites were functional pieces in the 18th century and Art Deco styles. Prices ranged from 19,200 pounds, including commissions, for a pair of mid-20th-century chandeliers to just 12 pounds for a set of three modern dining tables.
Leslie Caron, star of the film "Gigi,'' singer Bryan Ferry and David Furnish, partner of Elton John, were among the other well-known personalities at the sale, said auction house Bonhams.
The most expensive piece of furniture was a walnut Georgian- style bookcase by the London furniture maker David Linley, chairman of Christie's and nephew of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, which fetched 18,000 pounds against an estimate of 2,000-3,000 pounds.
"We always knew that this sale was going to be special and different. The world has a love affair with the Savoy,'' said Harvey Cammell, Bonhams Director of the Savoy Sale. "We have had hotel groups bidding for collections of chairs and tables alongside individuals decorating their homes.''
The five-star hotel will be closed for 18 months while the interiors are remodeled by the Parisian design firm Pierre-Yves Rochon, who will retain the building's Edwardian and Art Deco features. The restoration is estimated to cost 100 million pounds.
Sinatra's Piano A grand piano reputedly played by Frank Sinatra sold for four times its estimate on Dec 18.
A barman who worked in the hotel's American Bar in the 1970s saw Sinatra playing the white Grotrian-Steinweg to unwind after a show, said Savoy archivist Susan Scott. It sold for 11,400 pounds including commission, beating an estimate of 2,000-3,000 pounds. Bonhams would not name the buyer, who it said was a U.K. musician who will put it in a private club outside London.
External source: To read complete article: Click Here